The One Simple Daily Writing Habit that Changed my Life Completely

April 18, 2021

"Be the CEO of your life" is often used as a metaphor to encourage you to be more strategic about your life.  

It often involves introspection to find a vision and direction of where you're headed in the future.  In going through this process, you may find yourself asking tough existential questions like these:-

  • Where do I want to be in 3 months, 1 year, 5 years?  
  • What's the end goal at play?
  • Why am I doing what I do?

Without taking the time to find the right answers for you, you're very unlikely to end up in a meaningful place purely by chance.  Even if the end goal is not super clear, pointing ourselves in the right direction and trusting that things will reveal themselves in time is still infinitely better than having no direction at all.  

Floating through life without any real meaning or purpose usually ends up in a not so desirable outcome.  One day, probably in your fourties, you'll realise half your life is gone, die your hair red, buy a ferrari and backpack around the world trying to make up for all those lost years.  

Clearly, having a pre-meditated and deliberate strategy is very important for a meaningful life.  

But coming up with a vision and strategy is not even half the battle.  That's just the first step.

The real difficulty is seeing it through;  having the strength of mind to take a step back and consistently remind yourself of the long term game plan, instead of getting lost in the everday trials, tribulations and rigmarole of life.  And doing so consistently day in, day out indefinitely for the rest of your life.

That's difficult.  I feel qualified to say that because it's been a particular point of struggle for me many times in my life.

I'd often come up with a plan for my life, stick to it for a few weeks, go through the dip, motivation would wane, I'd get distracted and start something new and exciting.  It got me nowhere.  I simply ended up with a graveyard of half finished projects and everything I tried failed.

It's a process I've described at length in this video:-

The problem, I realized, was this:- I was trying to chop a tree down by taking huge swipes at the trunk in random spots.  Despite chopping for years, that tree was still no closer to falling.  Of course, I needed to chop in the same spot, repeatedly, and keep going until something fell.

In short:- I realized that I needed to consistently channel my energy and focus into one coherent strategy and achieve a result before moving onto the next piece of the jigsaw.

Realizing this was an important first step.  But it was putting into practice a habit that takes just 10 minutes per day that completely changed my results getting ability. 

That's the habit I'd like to share with you next...

The 10 Minute Daily Habit that Keeps You on Strategy and Gets you Results

This daily habit only takes 10 minutes, can be done on your laptop or with pen and paper and can also be customzed to suit you.

Here is the habit:-

Everyday, preferably at the beginning of your work, sit down and take 10 minutes to write the answer to these questions:-

  1. What kind of person are you?
  2. Why are you doing what you do?
  3. Where do you want to be by <<date at the end of the quarter>>
  4. Write down 3 things that you are grateful for in your life

That's it.  That's all there is to it.

If you like, you can also add more parts or questions to this daily writing ritual.  For example, my ritual also includes the following:-

  • What's in your calendar for today?
  • A list of all my main projects that I'm working on so that I can write a quick status update and what the next steps are

Here's an example taken from my own journal of what your daily writing template might look like (the screenshot is black because I prefer to write with "dark mode" enabled):-

And here's an example of a completed daily ritual:-

Why this is so Effective and How to Make it Work for You

This writing ritual, while it only takes a few minutes per day, serves as a daily reminder of the bigger, strategic picture and of the things that are important to you and your life.  It helps you to make sure that you're spending time on the right things and that you don't lose your focus. 

I just checked in my Evernote account and was surprised to see that I have completed this ritual over 700 times in the past few years!  It's hard for me to overstate the difference between my life now, after having integrated this habit, and my previous directionless "all over the place" life.

If, like me, you have a tendency to waiver and struggle with consistency then try adding this to your daily habits for the next 30 days and see if it also works wonders for you.

And let me know how you get on in the comments!

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